If you care about your health then it’s important to limit the amount of stress you experience. While the human body is built to deal with stress, too much of it can lead to headaches and high blood pressure among other problems. Many people cope with stress by turning to tobacco or alcohol, but these drugs can make the body feel even more stressed. While it’s impossible to totally eliminate stress, there are steps you can take to reduce it. Here are three.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to work out. While stress typically starts in your mind, it usually makes its presence felt in your body as well—tight shoulders, chest pain, etc. Reducing stress works the other way around. If you exercise to strengthen your body, your mind benefits as well. Physical activity produces chemicals in the brain that help deal with stress. These chemicals, called endorphins, are the body’s natural painkillers.
Any form of exercises can help reduce stress. Yoga, running, weight lifting, and even dancing will help you feel better. Many people choose to workout at the end of a stressful day so that they can have a peaceful evening. If you want to prepare yourself for the upcoming day, though, then workout first thing in the morning.
Meditation is one of the simplest ways to reduce stress. Research shows that meditation has the ability to alter the brain itself making it more resilient to stress and anxiety. If you have never meditated before, here are some tips:
- Make sure you have some time where you won’t be distracted. Turn your phone off, give the dog a bone, make sure the baby is sleeping, etc.
- Sit cross-legged on the floor, or sit upright in a chair. Make sure you keep your back straight during the entire session.
- Keep your eyes slightly open. If they’re closed it’s easier to become distracted.
- Count your breath. As you breathe in, count 1. Then as you breathe out, count 2. Continue up to up a count of 4.
For more meditation tips take a look at this guide.
Numerous studies show that being outside can help reduce stress and make you feel better. Being outside has a number of other positive results as well. It can help improve memory, boost your energy, and improve your concentration. Read this article to learn more. The next time you’re feeling stressed head for your local park. Not only will you reduce your stress levels, you’ll also get some exercise.